Chemistry is an amazingly complex subject that many people love or hate. If you do love it, or even if you just need to use it on a daily basis, you need a scientific calculator. Even teachers recognize that some calculations are just too intricate to do them by hand every time.
The best calculator for chemistry is not a crutch to lean on, but a tool to enhance your understanding of chemical formulas.
When looking into buying one, consider factors such as the display, the batteries and the portability of it. It is also crucial to match their functions to the level of chemistry you are studying, as they come in a wide range.
Some of them can even display graphs on their screen, which can be fantastic if that is what you need or overwhelming if you are not on that level. To help you navigate the world of scientific calculators, we assembled ten of the best ones in the market today.
Table of Contents
- Best Calculators for Chemistry
- 1. Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro Engineering/Scientific Calculator
- 2. HP 35s Scientific Calculator
- 3. Sharp EL-501XBGR Scientific Calculator
- 4. Scientific Graphic Calculator – CATIGA CS121
- 5. Casio fx-115ES PLUS Engineering/Scientific Calculator
- 6. Sharp EL-531TGBBW 12-Digit Scientific/Engineering Calculator
- 7. Casio FX-350MS 2-Line Display Scientific Calculator
- 8. DricRoda Scientific Calculator
- 9. Texas Instruments TI-30XS MultiView Scientific Calculator
- 10. Casio FX-991EX Engineering/Scientific Calculator
- How to Buy the Best Calculator for Chemistry
- Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Calculator for Chemistry
Best Calculators for Chemistry
1. Texas Instruments TI-36X Pro Engineering/Scientific Calculator
The TI-36x Pro is one of the most popular scientific calculators on the market and it is easy to see why. This model has absolutely everything one would need in a chemistry context. It features a beautiful multi-view display that can show more than one equation at once, on the same screen.
The LCD screen is designed in such a way that it is still easy to read even when it is lying flat on the desk. Its patented MathPrint technology shows math expressions as you would see them in the textbook and it is an ideal learning aid all the way through college, especially in chemistry.
Everything you need is here all packaged in a great looking and feeling reinforced plastic body.
2. HP 35s Scientific Calculator
Hewlett Packard was the first to invent the scientific calculator way back in 1964. So you can be absolutely sure that they know what they are doing. This model is feature-packed with everything you will need in the chemistry lab.
There are over 100 built-in functions and over a year’s worth of battery life. The most striking thing about this model is the look. We just adore the black plastic material and buttons. The display is top of the line and supports an adjustable contrast feature making it perfect for any lighting situation.
To top it all off you get a great 1-year warranty and returns for any reason are welcome.
3. Sharp EL-501XBGR Scientific Calculator
Sharp has been a big player in the scientific calculator space for some time now and this EL-501 is great as a result of all that built up knowledge. It features a massive 131 functions – more than most – and it has a modern-looking ergonomic design, with soft plastic and stand out yellow symbols.
The display is only a single line but it is super clear and crisp and can fit up to 10 digits. If you are looking for a calculator that does the essential well, looks great and is rugged enough to last the distance then this should be high up on your list.
4. Scientific Graphic Calculator – CATIGA CS121
This calculator by Catiga is special because it has the ability to show graphs on its rather large screen as well as all the expected formulas of a regular calculator. This allows you to do corrections and calculations and see the results in a graph in real-time.
The system itself is programmable to match any level or course. It has a massive 280 functions in total that include fractions, variable solving and many more. There are a lot of features with this one so there is quite a bit to learn but it does reward you with versatility afterward.
5. Casio fx-115ES PLUS Engineering/Scientific Calculator
This scientific calculator by Casio is very popular and is of great value. The display is a natural textbook display and shows expressions just like they would appear in a textbook.
It has over 280 functions in total and a cool multi replay function that means you can go back through your calculation process, then edit any part and re-calculate. The batteries on this model are replaceable so it could theoretically last a lifetime.
Overall this is a fantastic model that is easy to use, sturdy and good at everything it does. Well done, Casio.
6. Sharp EL-531TGBBW 12-Digit Scientific/Engineering Calculator
The Sharp EL-531 is another great model that has the special feature of utilizing hybrid power. Not only does it have a standard battery but it also has a solar panel on the front for emergencies.
It is protected by a hard plastic cover that can easily be added and removed and is perfect for students studying chemistry who are always taking it in and out of their bags. The plastic has a nice gloss finish and white buttons that look fantastic.
It features 273 functions and has D.A.I technology that means the display shows equations as they would look on paper. The screen is a real standout with a large 12 digit, 2 line LCD with optimum viewing angles.
7. Casio FX-350MS 2-Line Display Scientific Calculator
The Casio FX-350 is a well-rounded device that is solid at most things. It has a 2 line multi-feature display as standard. In addition, it can perform all functions you would need such as fraction calculations, combinations, and stat analysis.
It comes with a protective hard cover case for long-lasting protection. This model is perfect for college students learning chemistry, but maybe not advanced users as there are some advanced functions missing.
The interface is also very user friendly and easy for a beginner to pick up and learn. It is also very good value for money in this price bracket.
8. DricRoda Scientific Calculator
This model from DricRoda is one of the best calculators for chemistry in advanced settings, but can also be used by students in high school or college with a little time spent learning the ropes. You can easily enter more than one calculation and compare results.
It has one of the highest numbers of functions we have seen – 417. With all these functions it is going to be a little more difficult to master of course, but it also means it easily meets the learning needs of all levels from high school to university.
The design is wear-resistant with its hard and durable plastic cover and comfortable press buttons. It has a dual power supply of battery and solar panels too.
9. Texas Instruments TI-30XS MultiView Scientific Calculator
Another fantastic option here from Texas Instruments, these calculators are made with the future in mind. This model has a full four-line display that allows you to see much of your current calculations.
It has a useful solar power backup panel for emergencies that we just love. It also comes in this jazzy blue color so you can impress your friends who think chemistry is not cool.
10. Casio FX-991EX Engineering/Scientific Calculator
The display on this Casio model is super high definition and as a result, the digits look crisp and clean. It is also a natural textbook display that shows the equations just as they would look in a textbook.
This makes the transition between mediums less jarring for the learner. Not only do you get a battery included but there is also a solar panel for back up to cover all bases.
This model has a complete set of beginner to advanced calculations features such as statistics, factors, ratios, and fractions. You also get a detailed manual that will guide you through all the processes involved.
How to Buy the Best Calculator for Chemistry
Scientific calculators look daunting on the surface. At first glance, it also seems like there is a wide variation in what they offer. But that is not necessarily the case. Let us help you understand them a little better to make you purchasing that bit easier.
The number of functions – Each scientific calculator has a varying upper limit to the number of functions that it can perform. This can be as little as around 100 and as many as 400 depending on the model. All will be able to perform the key functions needed for chemistry.
Battery type – There are two main battery types in these devices. Removable and nonremovable. When non-removable batteries die that is it, the calculator must be replaced. The alternative is chargeable or replaceable batteries that can be found in any store. Some models even have a small solar panel that will keep the battery running in case it loses power.
Size and weight – Each calculator is a different size and weight and this will impact its ideal usage. Smaller ones are ideal for taking too and from work and school while larger ones are more suited to living in one place, like an office. There is not too much variation in size and weight however for it to be too much of a concern.
Display – The display on scientific calculators have improved a lot in recent years. Many of them now have great features like multi-line, graphical ability, formula display. There is also the matter of improved viewing angles to allow the screen to be seen when the calculator is placed on a table as well as better low light environment performed for indoors and outdoor use.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Calculator for Chemistry
What is the best brand of scientific calculators?
There is a small group of manufacturers that are ahead of everyone else in terms of quality and value for money. These are Casio, Sharp, Texas Instruments and Hewlett Packard.
They have built up such a wealth of knowledge from many years of research that it has given them an advantage in the market. That is not to say that you can’t find other brands with quality, they are just less plentiful.
Can I take a scientific calculator into an exam?
This all depends on various factors such as the state that you live in and the exam you’re taking. It is strongly recommended that you consult your exam board, school or local administrators and always double-check.
Why are scientific calculators important when taking chemistry?
Chemistry is full of complex equations that would just be very impractical to write out in full using pen and paper. Scientific calculators are a relatively inexpensive piece of kit that will provide no end of value on your chemistry journey.